Manzil is a non-profit, youth-led learning center providing a supportive community and resources for students from low-income backgrounds to empower themselves and one another through learning, teaching, creativity and encouraging each other to see the world in new ways. Manzil offers young people a safe after-school space where they get exposure to a wide range of teaching environments, opportunities to look at education in new and meaningful ways.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Being the Good There is in the World: Team Seva
Team Seva and Manzil Core Members
Behind many of the new initiatives at Manzil in the past two years have been two words- Team Seva. From robotics class to learning trips, Team Seva has been a strong partner and is a factor in helping us to continue to be better.
The story of Team Seva begins with Dev Dugal. Dev founded Team Seva, an American fully volunteer-run 501(3)(c) organization. This mission of the organization is to help break the cycle of poverty in India’s underserved communities by empowering children with education. Dev, Nisha, his two daughters and the whole board of Team Seva is based in the US and provide resources and funding to partners in India, such as Chhoti Si Asha, Manav Sadhna, Kranti and now Manzil as well! With Team Seva, every single dollar donated in the US goes to a project on the ground here. Dev actively believes in the spirit of giving and “recognizes the reciprocal nature of compassion.” He found that “when we share our time and financial resources we get a lot in return. It makes us feel good to become part of something that really matters.” By supporting strong partners and creating the system to collect funding from the US and distribute it in India, Team Seva has been able to expand its reach and helps hundreds of young people dream bigger.
Manzil was fortunate to cross paths with Dev in January of 2016. Dev was finishing up a trip to India and just before leaving to go back to the US, he took a quick detour to learn about Manzil. There were an automatic connection and alignment of values between the two organizations. Recognizing the huge effect that educational spaces can have, and combined with his big heart, Dev offered Team Seva’s support to Manzil. Since then it has been a wonderful journey of love, contribution, and belief in the young people in Manzil.
Team Seva has supported a number of Manzil initiatives. They were first instrumental in providing the resources for our robotics class with Tanmay. Their contributions allowed for us to purchase the Arduino boards and additional tools so that our students could learn how to use technology to create things, such as light sensors. The class created a space for students to think broader about the role of technology and how they can make many of the modern tech marvels they see around them.
Manzil's Nagaland Trip
Last June, Manzil was able to use the funds provided by Team Seva to hold the memorable Nagaland learning trip. The Nagaland trip was a massive success, as our learners and teachers came back from the trip with new knowledge, new attitudes, and new friends. Traveling so far taught them not only about the place they visited, but also about their peers, their city, and themselves. For Manzil, it was a perfect trip to help our young learners to develop into the bright minded, curious, kind, and insightful people they can be. Here is the full story of that Trip: http://www.manzil.in/nagaland-trip/
Another amazing opportunity that Team Seva provided was a trip for 3 of our core members to join the Team Seva group in Ahmedabad last year. It was an eye-opening and life-changing experience for the Manzil core team members. For two of the core team members, it was their first time traveling alone outside of Delhi. In Ahmedabad, the members were able to interact with international volunteers, the Team Seva members from the US and create a community with the other organizations Team Seva supports. It was also the first time for these core team members to represent Manzil in a new place. By providing a space for interaction, exposure, and learning, Team Seva has also helped the growth of Manzil’s management team.
Team Seva’s support isn’t only limited to Manzil- this year, Dev was able to create a fundraising online platform for our very own sister NGO, Learning By Locals! His desire to support educational efforts here is spreading among the different areas of Delhi, to the hearts of more and more children.
Team Seva’s motto is, “Be the good in the world”. And in their actions, support, time, love and care for us here at Manzil, and the other organizations in India, they are living their values through and through. We are fortunate to have them as a partner for Manzil and we look forward to learning, growing and excelling with them! Thank you Team Seva for all that you do to empower children through learning- you are creating the good in the world for generations to come.